Computational studies on cinchona alkaloid-catalyzed asymmetric organic reactions
Tanrıver, Gamze and Dedeoğlu, Burcu and Catak, Saron and Aviyente, Viktorya (2016) Computational studies on cinchona alkaloid-catalyzed asymmetric organic reactions. Accounts of Chemical Research, 49 (6). pp. 1250-1262. ISSN 0001-4842 (Print) 1520-4898 (Online)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00078
Remarkable progress in the area of asymmetric organocatalysis has been achieved in the last decades. Cinchona alkaloids and their derivatives have emerged as powerful organocatalysts owing to their reactivities leading to high enantioselectivities. The widespread usage of cinchona alkaloids has been attributed to their nontoxicity, ease of use, stability, cost eﬀectiveness, recyclability, and practical utilization in industry. The presence of tunable functional groups enables cinchona alkaloids to catalyze a broad range of reactions. Excellent experimental studies have extensively contributed to this ﬁeld, and highly selective reactions were catalyzed by cinchona alkaloids and their derivatives. Computational modeling has helped elucidate the mechanistic aspects of cinchona alkaloid catalyzed reactions as well as the origins of the selectivity they induce. These studies have complemented experimental work for the design of more eﬃcient catalysts. This Account presents recent computational studies on cinchona alkaloid catalyzed organic reactions and the theoretical rationalizations behind their eﬀectiveness and ability to induce selectivity. Valuable eﬀorts to investigate the mechanisms of reactions catalyzed by cinchona alkaloids and the key aspects of the catalytic activity of cinchona alkaloids in reactions ranging from pharmaceutical to industrial applications are summarized. Quantum mechanics, particularly density functional theory (DFT), and molecular mechanics, including ONIOM, were used to rationalize experimental ﬁndings by providing mechanistic insights into reaction mechanisms. B3LYP with modest basis sets has been used in most of the studies; nonetheless, the energetics have been corrected with higher basis sets as well as functionals parametrized to include dispersion M05-2X, M06-2X, and M06-L and functionals with dispersion corrections. Since cinchona alkaloids catalyze reactions by forming complexes with substrates via hydrogen bonds and long-range interactions, the use of split valence triple-ζ basis sets including diﬀuse and polarization functions on heavy atoms and polarization functions on hydrogens are recommended. Most of the studies have used the continuum-based models to mimic the condensed phase in which organocatalysts function; in some cases, explicit solvation was shown to yield better quantitative agreement with experimental ﬁndings. The conformational behavior of cinchona alkaloids is also highlighted as it is expected to shed light on the origin of selectivity and pave the way to a comprehensive understanding of the catalytic mechanism. The ultimate goal of this Account is to provide an up-to-date overlook on cinchona alkaloid catalyzed chemistry and provide insight for future studies in both experimental and theoretical ﬁelds.
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